Argentina allocates 96.7 MW of PV in ‘mini’ auction

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Argentina’s Secretariat of Energy has awarded 38 renewable energy projects to developers, for a total capacity of 259.08 MW through Round 3 of the RenovAr Program for large-scale renewables.

Of these projects, 13 were awarded to PV developers, with a combined capacity of 96.75 MW and an average price of $57.58/MWh. The minimum price for solar was $54.22/MWh – very different values ​​than those being awarded in other recent auctions held by countries such as Brazil or Portugal.

The rest of the projects corresponded to 10 wind projects, two biomass projects, six biogas projects, one landfill biogas project and six small hydroelectric utilization projects. Overall, these new installations will be built across 12 Argentinean provinces: Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Córdoba, Formosa, La Pampa, Mendoza, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Cruz and Santa Fe.

According to the secretariat, the projects will result in investments of more than $368 million. They are expected to generate more than 1,000 new jobs, spanning construction and operation and maintenance roles.

Round 3 will use capacity available in the medium-voltage networks of distributors, and could give rise to the participation of nontraditional actors in the energy sector, which would drive up the number of companies that generate electricity from renewables. Selected projects must be be connected in medium- and low-voltage networks of 13.2 kV, 33 kV and 66 kV. The size limit is 10 MW, with a minimum output of 500 kW.

Regarding the contractual terms, selected bidders were awarded 20-year PPAs with the Electricity Wholesale Market Administrator (CAMMESA). They also agreed to adhere to the FODER, a structure that guarantees payment to plants.

Since 2016, the government has awarded 244 projects, adding more than 6.3 GW of capacity through rounds 1, 1.5, 2 and 3 of the RenovAr program. Under the previous three rounds, 1.7 GW of solar capacity was allocated. In the last auction, the lowest price for solar was $0.0404/kWh, while the highest and average prices came to $0.0523 and $0.0435, respectively.